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Six-Month Braces? An Orthodontist’s Opinion on this Treatment

It is not always easy to separate truth from marketing, but it is important to do so when it comes to your health. Many patients have asked about this new orthodontic technique that promises straightened teeth in just six months. This technique has been promoted on television and the radio, but is there any truth to this?

The ad leads people to believe that the technology is relatively cheaper than braces and could deal with orthodontic issues in a matter of six months.

There is a lot you need to know regarding this “short-term orthodontic” procedure. For one, only a few companies provide the courses that a dentist will need to promote this procedure. One of the companies is the Six Month Smiles and the other is PowerProx Six Month Braces. You should keep in mind that dentists are given the green light to perform this procedure after attending a two-day course where they receive supplies and marketing materials.

What the treatment offers is definitely appealing. Taking care of oral issues in a short amount of time at a more affordable price would interest anyone, which is exactly what this treatment is banking on.

Another thing you should know about this technique is that it uses the same braces used in short-term orthodontics. Sure, some dentists may use colored braces, clear braces, or even regular silver brackets, but they are definitely not using an improved orthodontic device. Sadly, the orthodontic devices offered under this treatment do not move teeth any faster than a regular orthodontic treatment.

What you should consider is that orthodontic devices are not miracle workers but rather stimulate natural bone and ligament responses. These responses are limited, which is a fact that every oral specialist must deal with. This does not mean it is impossible to improve a particular procedure, but this ad is not advertising a truly revolutionary technique. It should be noted that there are actually a few procedures out there that have shown some promise, and it can speed up tooth movement. Some of the procedures that do work are Propel, AcceleDent, and Wilkodontics, just to name a few.

Still, this might make you wonder how they can promise a six-month result if it is not exactly true. Well, you probably have heard a thing or two about advertising. The truth lies in the phrasing, and this ad is no different. The reason that dentists say this procedure can promise results in six months is because they are offering a specific result. The six-month treatment is attempting to align the front teeth, which is sometimes referred to as the “social six.” These are the teeth that everyone sees when you smile.

The treatment concentrates on straightening the front teeth, and that is possible. This can be done by any orthodontic specialist, but it is a disservice to the patient. An orthodontic specialist is bound to help correct crowding, protrusions, open bites, deep bites, cross bites, impacted teeth, overbites, under bites, missing teeth, and many other issues. In short, this treatment aims to straighten your teeth without addressing underlying issues.

The only reason this treatment can be completed in six months is because the process is halted before it addresses the full scope of your problem, meaning that it is intentionally incomplete.

This is not to say that it is impossible to deal with an orthodontic issue in just six months. Some patients may not even need the full six months if their teeth crowding or spacing is minimal. A patient with mild issues might be done with their treatment in no time and with a smaller bill, but this patient can be sure that all of his or her orthodontic problems were addressed.

Aligning the front teeth without addressing the underlying issues can make matters worse for you. For one, leaving orthodontic issues like crowded teeth untreated can lead to a higher risk of cavities or gingivitis. Those who straighten their front teeth and ignore the other issues could also experience larger overbites or more crowding in the back of the “social six.” I have seen this happen often and have had to help patients correct problems that have risen after undergoing the six-month treatment.

Some are attracted to the price. I spoke with a few patients who told me that the quote for their six-month treatment was about 75 percent of what I quoted them for a full treatment. I would love to agree and say that this is much cheaper because it certainly sounds inexpensive. Believe me, I want treatment to be low-cost just as much as you do, but the truth is that this procedure can end up being more than what you think.

You are going to end up paying 75 percent of my fee, which covers the entire mouth in a matter of 12 to 18 months, just to take care of your front teeth.

Let me offer a hypothetical situation here. You need to paint your home, and two friendly painters are quoting two different prices to you. One is offering to paint the entire house for $4,000 while the other just wants to paint the front of the house for $3,000. It is easy to see why my treatment ends up being cheaper than the technique offered in some of those ads.

Keep in mind that the likelihood of being unhappy with your results is high, meaning you might end up going to an orthodontist to help you complete the entire procedure.

An orthodontist takes two to three years of additional training after dental school to learn the art of straightening teeth. A two-day course does not even cover a fraction of what a specialist knows. It is ultimately up to you to keep in mind that this is your health, and you only get one set of teeth.

With that being said…I will be offering “5 month Smiles” next week!!